Bi-partisan digital learning report hits the mark

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“Preparing more than 50 million students with the knowledge and skills to succeed in college and careers is the greatest moral and economic challenge of our era.”

So reads a new bi-partisan report on digital learning. Digital Learning Now! is a call to action for governors and state education leaders. The Excellence in Education Foundation (headed by former FL governor Jeb Bush) and the Alliance for Excellent Education (led by former WV governor Bob Wise) drafted this report with feedback from educators, business leaders and government representatives.

Digital Learning Now! identifies ten elements of a high-quality classroom and specifies how technology, data, and digital content can enhance teaching and learning.

The recommendations are a mixture of policy suggestions that include:

  1. Eliminating barriers that impede the acquisition and use of digital content.
  2. Providing students with online learning options from multiple public and private providers
  3. Incorporating a digital assessment system and using student achievement data as part of a teacher’s evaluation.
  4. Ensuring that teachers have professional development on how to use digital content.

The report’s recommendations affirm and validate the work SAS has done in K12 education over the past two decades. Since the mid 1990s—when Cary Academy and SAS® Curriculum Pathways®were established—SAS has championed digital content and interactive instructional practices that engage students. In 2009, SAS Curriculum Pathways was offered to all U.S. educators and students at no cost. To date, over 10,000 schools have a SAS Curriculum Pathways account.

SAS Curriculum Pathways is just one of many ways SAS helps schools transform the way they use technology to deliver instruction, evaluate student and teacher performance, and improve efficiency. From OnDemand for K12 solutions to longitudinal data systems, from our high school computer programming instruction to our value-added assessment work, SAS has been a leader in promoting educational technologies and has demonstrated a passion for achieving the goals set forth by Digital Learning Now!

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About Author

Bruce Friend

Director - SAS Curriclum Pathways

Bruce Friend is the Director of SAS® Curriculum Pathways®, an award-winning education resource that provides online lessons, engaging tools and activities at no cost to educators around the world. As a member of the SAS Education Practice leadership team, his work is focused on the SAS Institute’s vision for transforming education and helping students and teachers utilize technology for more engaging and successful teaching and learning experience. Bruce has spent the past decade working in the field of online learning and digital content. He is a national pioneer in helping to establish the country’s first statewide online program and has been the chief administrator of two state virtual schools. Prior to joining SAS, Bruce was the Vice President of the International Association for K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL); a non-profit organization that provides support to students, parents, and online learning programs. Friend serves as a special advisor on educational technology issues for local and state leaders throughout the country as well as serving on advisory boards for several education programs and schools. He currently sits on the Board of Directors for the North Carolina Distance Learning Association serving in the role of Vice President, is on the advisory board for the K12 education division of the Software & Information Industry, and represents SAS on the education committee of the world Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. Among Friend’s honors and distinctions: He was recognized for the “Most Outstanding Achievement by an Individual: K-12 Education” by the United States Distance Learning Association. Friend is a two-time recipient of the Florida Principal Achievement Award and was the Florida Virtual School Teacher of the Year. He earned a M.Ed. in educational leadership from the University of Central Florida and a B.A. in Social Science from the University of Pittsburgh.

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